Far East cladding giant targets UK contracts

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

World top five-ranked cladding contractor Far East Global Group has set up a base in London to target work in the UK and Europe.

Subsidiary Far East Facade (UK) is run by managing director Peter Walker who has cherry picked leading names in the cladding industry to join the firm.

Walker said Far East Facade was already bidding on a project in Hull and had several high profile building projects in London, Manchester and Northumberland in its sights.

He told the Enquirer: “We have had a steady stream of leading UK clients and main contractors vising our offices in Hong Kong.

“That indicates there is serious demand for competition to European suppliers.”

Far East has worked with Balfour Beatty on international jobs and has talked to Sir Robert McAlpine and Laing O’Rourke.

He added: “We haven’t got a list of projects here yet, but I am gathering together a team of high-calibre professionals with strong track records to show we are serious.”

His team includes Darren Clare, a former senior project manager at Permasteelisa, and a senior figure from installation specialist Clearline.

Far East Global started out in Hong Kong in 1969 and has grown rapidly to rank among the top five global cladding players, after buying major supplier Gamma in North America.

Far East specialises in high-rise unitised curtain walling jobs but Walker said the firm will also take on smaller projects utilising its low cost base to build a long term presence in this country.

The fast-growing group employs over 1,000 staff and is renowned for work on super tall building after cladding the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifi.

It is currently working on the Foster Associates designed Kai Tak Cruise Terminal in Hong Kong and hopes to build on these ties.

Walker said: “The Burj Khalifi was a 120,000 sq m curtain wall job and we delivered first panels to site five months from the date of taking the order.

“Far East Global has huge capability and is looking to the UK and Europe as a new market, after building a big presence in south east Asia, and expanding into the Middle East North and South America.”

It is the second Chinese firm to target the UK. Fellow cladding specialist Yuanda won the contract for British Land’s 47-storey Cheesegrater tower in London, the biggest job ever to go to a Chinese contractor.

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